Three Is All You Need: Quinnipiac Scores Early To Fight Off Brown

Mike Singer

With their five-game win streak of 2023 on the line, the Quinnipiac Bobcats hosted Brown University for a rematch of their Nov. 5 meeting. The results were the same as the meeting prior as Quinnipiac took the rematch 3-1.

The score remained 0-0 for all of 2:50 when Lexie Adzija shoveled a shot upstairs on first-year goaltender Megane Pilon to put The Bobcats up 1-0. The early lead was one of three goals Quinnipiac scored in the opening frame of the game.

Two minutes later, Frozen Fenway hero Nina Steigauf picked up from where she left off last weekend during the Colgate game on Jan. 13 to pick up her seventh of the season. Friday night’s three-point night marks Steigauf’s eighth point in six games since entering the 2023 calendar year.

“It comes down to just having fun,” Steigauf said. “When I’m having fun and playing free it tends to be when I play the best, I’m just enjoying every game.”

When it comes to being in the spotlight, everyone from the players to the coaching staff has taken notice.

“Nina just loves to score,” Bobcats head coach Cass Turner said. “She has so much composure with the puck around the net. She makes people around her better.”

The game seemed to settle in as Catie Boudiette made a few saves to preserve the 2-0 lead for the Bobcats towards the first half of the first period.

As the scoring seemed to calm down, junior forward Maya Mangiafico hauled down a Quinnipiac defender to put Quinnipiac on the power play, with a chance to add to their 2-0 lead in an attempt to run away with the game.

With about one minute killed off of the Mangiafico penalty, senior defender Kate Reilly rifled a shot that went wide of the net and found the stick of Steigauf who, with the composure mentioned by Cass Turner, found Shay Maloney who shoveled the shot past Pilon to put the Bobcats up 3-0 in the first period.

“Today we were super happy with how we came out in the first period,” Turner said. “We came out hard and ready to score, I think that’s a phenomenal thing for our team and something we are going to want to hold on to.”

Brown University had a tough hill to climb as they entered the second period down by a handful. At the start of the second period, Brown University pulled Megane Pilon and put Kaley Doyle in the net. The same Kaley Doyle that shut out the Bobcats last spring.

In a second period that was not as bombastic as the first frame of play, Brown showed more of a fight than they did in the first period.

Brown added four more shots on goal with first-year forward Jade Iginla leading the charge of the offense. The switch in goaltending helped recharge a Brown team that some would say was down and out before the game even got to the halfway mark of the first period.

The goaltending became the story of the second period as Kaley Doyle stopped all 12 shots she saw. Down on the other end of the rink, Catie Boudiette stood tall to turn aside all four shots she saw. In Boudiette’s last eight games, she has eight wins to her name. 

When asked about whether it is a good problem on which of your star goaltenders to start, Turner chuckled and simply said that it “it’s not a problem, it’s phenomenal. Those two (Boudiette and Angers) get along really well and push one another. No matter what happens, we are going to have a great goalie in net.”

As the third period with the score remaining the same as it started, it was only a matter of time before either team found the back of the net again.

Quinnipiac and Brown traded chances throughout the period but still, the goaltenders were still dictating just how close this game was going to be. 

With a little less than halfway to go in the game, Brown defender Meadow Carman found herself watching her team on the penalty kill as she was called for a hold in her own zone. This was Quinnipiac’s chance to put Brown away.

As the puck swerved to the top of the zone, Brown first-year Jade Iginla intercepted a pass at the blue line to come down on a breakaway on Boudiette. As Iginla came down the middle of the ice, she drifted to Boudiette’s right, pulled the puck on her backhand and slipped the puck through the five-hole to score Brown’s first goal of the game. 

“Maybe we should have prepared better for her today,” Cass Turner said while chuckling. “She was pretty good. She’s smart… She really has built a name for herself.”

Brown scored too little too late as it was not able to find the back of the net again and Quinnipiac walked away with the 3-1 victory over the visitors.

At the end of the contest, the team immediately looked to Saturday’s game against Yale.

“I think it’s exciting,” Quinnipiac captain Lexie Adzjia said. “The match against Yale and the battle of Whitney Ave. is one we always look forward to. We understand how important the game is but to just stick to our game plan, we are definitely ready.”

Quinnipiac will look to exorcise its demons against Yale as well as extend its 2023 win streak Saturday afternoon at 3:00 p.m. as The Battle Of Whitney Ave moves from New Haven to Hamden.